Book Review: The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu (SPOILER FREE)

Reading has never been my go to hobby, and science fiction has always came on as a bit too complex for my liking. Yet as I grow older nothing locks my mind in more than a great read. It expands my vocabulary as well as shapes the perspective that I use while while watching my favorite shows. Reading books has given me a new sense of moods and timing while watching my favorite shows, and even new shows i discover. Yes, reading has taken my ability to follow a story line to wonderful heights, but know book has given me a closer look on basis of perspective and scale than The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu.

Photo Source: https://www.facebook.com/ThreeBodyTrilogy/photos/a.488349804559238/908090352585179/?type=3

The Three-Body Problem is a science fiction novel that was written in China by Chinese Computer Engineer Liu Cixin. In Chinese culture, the first name comes second when writing. It was switched for the English translation. 

The story itself is simply the variety of alien contact. I already know what you’re thinking; you’ve seen it a hundred times, or another alien abduction story. Well, I’m here to tell you, that you are wrong. This is not just some run of the mill alien invasion book, where a farmer gets abducted with his cow and comes back to his home “different”. This isn’t Cowboys vs Aliens, or Men in Black, or any other western traditional alien story you’ve been accustomed to. Nope, this is an age-old story made original I tell you. You take the fantasy of contact, the history of the Cultural Revolution, and a genius-level knowledge of theoretical physics and computers. Viola! You get an innovative written masterpiece. 

Never have I read a book that was so expounded in its scale, it is almost overwhelming when you first start to read it, but as you read along the curtain starts to rise. The insidiousness that the story moves with makes it quite a difficult novel to set down. Everything you know about physics and the world around you becomes unraveled in this tale, for only the most intellectual of minds can follow without having to pick up a dictionary.

The story follows two different timelines, which for me caused a lot of flipping back and forth through the entire read. While it’s the main story is clearly that of modern-day society, half of the book also takes place during a challenging time in China called the Cultural Revolution. A period haunted with chaos and havoc in a panic that divided the whole country. Communists violently taking a second swing at taking control over a country that had some deadly counter measures the second time around. Foolish attempts of control met with belligerent rebuttals spilled the blood of possibly two million people. This frame of time unbelievably meshed in well with the alien contact story. 

Now, I don’t want to hype you up or anything, and I’m most certainly not the expert on books, but this has to be the best novel I’ve ever read. The Three-Body Problem is a complex story with everything you need: mystery, suspense, excitement, creativity, scale, and of course aliens. It is a story of how big your life is, to you, because the more you read, the smaller your life seems in perspective to the rest of the universe. I’m quite impressed with this incredible, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the trilogy.

Any questions or critique please leave in the comment section below, as well as any suggestions in writing and what to read next. Thank You.

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